Talking Lifestyle

Tackling the spread of online health misinformation and “Dr Google”

Fake news has received considerable focus in the media over the past several weeks, however for well over a decade doctors and medical professionals have been tackling the spread of online health misinformation and “Dr Google”.

Online media and social networking sites have connected us in ways we never would have thought were possible, opening up dialogues that extend well beyond geographical boundaries and arming patients searching for health content with more information than ever.

However, it’s important to know that not all online health information is created equal. Much of what can be found through internet searches is often incorrect, inappropriate, or isn’t scientifically backed or medically regulated. It may be written by someone who is medically under qualified (or unqualified), be intended for an overseas audience or may simply not meet Australian regulatory standards – which are some of the world’s most well-regarded.

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